A recent report released by Dementia Australia, which was previously Alzheimer’s Australia, has highlighted concerns over lack of awareness when it comes to this condition. Another recent study amongst dementia patients and home carers highlighted lack of knowledge about services such as community groups, dementia day centre facilities, and other facilities. However, this latest report shows that people lack awareness about the condition itself.
Officials from Dementia Australia expressed disappointment at the results of the study, which was carried out in September 2017. As part of the study, over one thousand members of the public were polled. The survey forms part of the Awareness and Understanding of Dementia in Australia report.
Concerns over figures relating to awareness
According to a breakdown of the study, more than 80 percent of Australians were unaware that dementia is the leading cause of death across the nation. In addition, over 50 percent of Australians had no idea about the relationship between Alzheimer’s and dementia. Around 40 percent were not aware that the condition was part of the aging process. The figures were made all the more alarming by the fact that more than one third of those responding said that someone close to them had been diagnosed with dementia.
Graeme Samuel, the Chair of Dementia Australia, said that the awareness levels about dementia amongst Australian were ‘shockingly low’. He said that dementia was a fast-growing problem that had a huge impact on the lives of sufferers and their families. This made the lack of awareness even more worrying because the condition is considered a national health priority area.
People struggle to speak to those with dementia
Another thing that Mr. Samuel pointed out was that not only were people lacking in knowledge when it came to dementia but many also felt intimidated talking to someone with the condition. He described the results of the study as ‘very concerning’ and said that changes needed to be made to improve awareness levels about the condition and its impact on lives.
He also said that the decision to bring together the individual organizations that that formed Alzheimer’s Australia under one new umbrella called Dementia Australia was part of the drive to try and improve awareness and services. Another official from the group said that the unification would help the organization to make an even bigger impact on the lives of those living with dementia.